Public consultation on draft national standards for direct provision

Thu, August 16, 2018

The Department of Justice & Equality, along with a Standards Advisory Group comprised of NGOs, UNHCR and government representatives, have drafted National Standards for Direct Provision Centres, in line with recommendations made in the 2015 Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process and Direct Provision (the “McMahon Report”).

The Draft Standards document is now open for public consultation.

You can access the document here.

To find out how to provide feedback on the document, please visit the Department of Justice’s Consultation page here.

Departmental representatives, along with members of the Standards Advisory Group, will be conducting regional focus groups around the country in order to consult with residents in the direct provision system over the next several weeks. More information about how to sign up for one of the focus groups will be available shortly.

Please note – The Standards only apply to living conditions in accommodation centres. The Standards do not address wider failings or weaknesses in the protection process (e.g. such as asylum application wait times) or the adequacy of asylum seeker supports (e.g. allowances, access to education, health provisions).

The Development of National Standards

NGOs have long called for the development of national standards to improve the living conditions in direct provision, and to provide consistency, oversight and accountability over the system as a whole. The development of national standards for the direct provision system was a key recommendation in the McMahon Report.

The development of standards is a crucial step in the process of improving living conditions in accommodation centres. Every other residential setting for adults and children in Ireland has standards that they must adhere to. To date direct provision is the only system which has operated without national standards.

National Standards combined with an independent complaints mechanism (which is in place) and an independent inspectorate will result in a more humane, respectful and rights-based asylum reception system.

We welcome that the Minister for Justice has already committed to introducing an independent inspectorate body, as this is a critical component to monitor compliance and ensure that private contractors are operating in line with the standards.

We urge residents and interest groups to engage in the consultation process to ensure the standards are comprehensive and meet the needs of residents.